Now that Halloween is in the rearview mirror, many people are looking ahead to the holiday season.
One of the biggest joys of this season is all of the delicious food and drink that accompanies the festivities.
If you are like most families, you have a tried and true recipe collection that you break out for these special occasions. However, it is also always a good idea to keep things fresh.
Here are five ways that you can spice up your holiday recipes this year.
Make a Small Tweak
Sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest impact. If your family is growing tired of the traditional roasted turkey, try spicing it up a bit by soaking it in a citrus brine. Popular in many Latin cultures, you can make your brine using fresh grapefruit, orange, and lime juices mixed with cumin and garlic for a flavor explosion.
Or try tweaking your favorite side dishes by adding a twist. For example, using sour cream and swiss cheese instead of mushroom soup in your green bean casserole will keep the general concept of this beloved dish while adding a new dimension of flavor.
Using brown butter instead of classic butter in a recipe can also switch up the flavor profile and add more depth. You may be surprised at how these small changes can elevate your ordinary dishes.
One surefire way to add a kick to your favorite recipes is with the inclusion of alcohol. For instance, turn an ordinary chocolate pecan pie on your Thanksgiving dessert table into something truly special by adding a splash of bourbon to the batter. You can buy rare bourbon online, making it easy to incorporate this flavor into many of your treasured holiday recipes.
Rum is another type of alcohol that works particularly well in many baking recipes. Who can resist the classic rum ball recipe on Christmas Eve? Other good choices include sherry, hard cider, and brandy.
A shot of alcohol is the ideal way to liven up your holiday recipes.
Start a New Tradition
If you fear that your regular holiday dishes are getting stale, there is no reason why you cannot change things up for the year. Instead of going with the traditional Christmas dinner of ham and rib roast, perhaps you want to go with something entirely different and make a Mexican feast?
Other good ideas include going with barbeque meat and all the fixings or a traditional Italian Christmas meal. There is no reason why you have to stick with the same meal year after year. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Your family may appreciate the change to the routine. Along the way, you may create new family traditions.
Spice Up Your Baked Goods
The holidays are not complete without a mouthwatering array of baked goods. While you cannot simply add more spice to a recipe to elevate it, there are steps that you can take to create deeper flavor profiles. For example, try adding a dusting of spice to the outside of a cookie to create a new texture.
Adding a drop of essential oil to the butter in a recipe is another way to create a deeper flavor. Good oils to consider for the holidays include lemon, peppermint, and cinnamon. These essential oils will add a warmer profile to the butter, enhancing the overall taste of the recipe.
Experiment with Different Cooking Methods
Trying out different cooking methods can add some new flavors and textures to your holiday dishes. Try grilling, smoking, or roasting your meats and vegetables for some unique flavors.
Here are a few methods to consider:
- Grilling: Grilling is a great way to add some smoky flavor to your holiday dishes. Try grilling your meats, vegetables, and even fruits to add some char and depth to your recipes.
- Smoking: Smoking is another way to add some smoky flavor to your holiday dishes. You can smoke your meats, fish, and even vegetables to add some unique flavors.
- Roasting: Roasting is a classic cooking method that can add some rich flavors to your holiday dishes. Try roasting your meats and vegetables to bring out their natural sweetness and add some caramelization.
- Braising: Braising is a cooking method that involves cooking meats or vegetables in a flavorful liquid over low heat. This method can add some tender texture and deep flavor to your holiday dishes.
- Stir-frying: Stir-frying is a quick cooking method that can add some crispy texture to your holiday dishes. Try stir-frying your vegetables or meats with some flavorful sauces and spices for a quick and tasty meal.
- Sous Vide: Sous vide is a cooking method that involves cooking food in a vacuum-sealed bag in a water bath. This method can help lock in the flavors and juices of your meats and vegetables, resulting in tender and flavorful dishes.
Splurge on the Best Ingredients
If you are looking to make an impression with your holiday cooking, you are going to want to splurge on the best ingredients. This includes leaning on high-quality cheeses, premium wines, and farm-fresh eggs.
If you cannot afford premium ingredients for every part of the meal, focus on the elements that will make the biggest impact. For example, you may be able to get away with value-driven ingredients in the side dishes if you funnel your money toward the best cut of beef that you can buy for your holiday roast.
These five tips will help you to enhance your holiday recipes, ensuring that you make the most of this special time with family and friends.
Make your holidays count by making every bite count.